I have never been a fan of traveling on Labor Day weekend. Crazy traffic and too many people! Instead, Kirk and I took the boys to NW Trek, a wildlife park on the way to Mt. Rainier. I remember going when I was young and we all enjoyed it! The park is a small zoo/wildlife preserve/walking area run by the City of Tacoma, on land that was lovingly restored over the years before it was donated to be a park. The animal areas are reached via hiking trails, paved so everyone can enjoy it, under a canopy of trees. All in told there are 5 miles of trails, paved and unpaved to enjoy, plus a tram ride that goes out where the non-predator animals live freely.
Walker (our middle son) really enjoyed the Black Bears:
And the Grizzlies – this one put a show on of scratching its backside on a tree for us.
If you are ever in Washington State and heading up to Rainier via the Nisqually Entrance look for NW Trek and take a break – it is well worth and very enjoyable.
On Monday my friend Dani came over (she is sewing our FBC Cozies for us currently as well!), dropped off a nice amount of cozies and we went for a “hike” on two local rail to trails in town. Since it was on such nice trail, I took the two youngest in their plush chariot, er, The Bob Duallie. September means it is cool enough to start enjoying pushing the jogger stroller once again. Pushing a fully loaded Duallie + a 30-ish lb Toddler + 20-ish lb Baby + gear is heavy, around 100 lbs. Still easier than wearing said children and gear on my body though! And hey, my gear gets to ride – no backpack. A win-win on lazy days!
Kirk dropped us all off at one of the trailheads and we walked the “legit” section of the Green to Cedar River Trail (part of it isn’t technically recognized due to missing a trestle bridge over an active rail line), then we connected to the unpaved section of the Cedar River Trail that heads away from town. For suburban hiking it is usually a nice choice. Get a latte in town at the trailhead and hike past a lake, then through tunnels, walk along a river with breezes…..
(The photos are not-so-great. I took them on my mobile phone.)
Dani on the trail -
As we hooked onto The Cedar my GPS brought a laugh. We were at 65,616 feet. Love when the GPS pulls this, it has done it once before.
A bonus was the blackberries. The Himalayans were ripe. In the more remote sections the vines were dripping with fruit. I usually am not a fan of this type, these were pretty tasty and were not covered in the papery husks often found on them. Walker happily sat in his seat and munched them. He really, really loves berries of all types.
Better though were the native Pacific Blackberries. Most were not ripe yet, but a few were. Somehow I wasn’t sharing those with the Berry Pig. Mama got them all!
I am a huge fan of rail to trails that have tree canopies. It is cool as you walk through them. We met 6 horses not long after this. The last horse was freaked out by the jogger stroller. Sometimes horses can be nuttier than squirrels!
The last mile or so even has 2 picnic tables, in spots right on the Cedar River. This one sits in an old turn area for the rail line. Grassy little spot with river access.
A nice afternoon stroll. The kids both took naps and then watched nature go by. We did a little over 8 miles, I won’t complain about that. Fall is nearly here and I am enjoying it!